As you may have noticed before, Bali has reopened the gate for domestic travellers from all across the country.
Done with strict procedures under the C-19 health protocols, this has been a bittersweet progress that we all have to embrace for the time being. Admittedly, these waves of local tourists coming to the island have given some of us a room to breathe, even if just a little. Cafés and restaurants have been reopening here and there, as well as the previously dead and darkened hotels. Small shops have seen some increase in their pockets, and so have those in the entertainment industry. Live music are back in the busiest places, just like the old time.
However, due to the mass of people coming from Indonesia’s red zones Jakarta and Surabaya, the number of C-19 victims have also sky-rocketed these past couple of months; delivering Bali to the top three regions of highest death tolls in the whole country, just after East Java and Jakarta. Now this sure raise some questions. Have we done enough to protect this island, or have we jeopardized its people for the sake of financial stability? It all depends on how we see things, really.
As of 14 September, the official tally has reported a total of 7,226 cases in Bali, where the population is around more than 4.2 million. With 3,388 cases of recovery, Bali’s recovery rate is at an encouraging 78.7 percent. If you are reading this as a preparation for your upcoming trip to Bali, here are the requirements that you need to provide before stepping into the welcome gate.
The Balinese government mandates anyone traveling to Bali via Ngurah Rai airport to fulfill several requirements. According to Indonesia Tourism official website, these include:
– Obtaining unique QR Code. They are required to fill in an application form to obtain a QR code, which will then become a proof that each upcoming visitor has submitted the application form.
– Presenting COVID-19 negative certificate (PCR). Upcoming visitors going to the island by air must present a COVID-19 negative certificate that has been subjected to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from a government hospital laboratory or a COVID-19 Task Force designated laboratory. The COVID-19 negative certificate has a validity period of seven days from the time of arrival at one of the sea or airports of Bali.
From what we know, there are several domestic flight schedules operated by a few local airlines. The country’s national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, is among the airline resuming domestic operations. It has also implemented social distancing procedure in the cabin, including blocking out the middle seats.
Visas on arrival to Bali were halted on 20 March 2020 while The Ngurah Rai airport remains open. There is still a travel restriction in place for Indonesia where passengers are not allowed to transit or enter the country, with a few exceptions. Bali relies heavily on
tourism and welcomed 6.3 million foreign visitors last year, so the pandemic has a quite huge impact on local economy. Since 31 July, Bali has opened its borders only to domestic travelers and the statistics have shown encouraging figures in relation to Bali’s Covid-19 cases for the last two weeks.
International tourists remain banned from visiting Bali for the remainder of 2020. In line with the policy of the Government of Indonesia, Bali has postponed its September 11 international reopening until the year 2021. Other than that, the Balinese government has released a statement detailing who and what are allowed to enter the island. They include transports of basic security, logistical, and medical purposes, diplomatic personnel, personnel working for government projects, and personnel related to COVID-19 aid management.
The Vice Governor of Bali in a conference feed also added that entries are allowed for patients in need of emergency help, passengers attending to urgent matters like death or illness in the immediate family, and repatriated migrant workers and overseas Indonesian students.
The Governor of Bali stated that reopening Bali will come in stages and tourism may be the last sector to be fully opened. To local media, he said that the tentative plan is to open to domestic tourists in August and foreign visitors in September 2020. However, the local government said they’re in “no rush”, opting to focus on successfully flattening the curve and carefully considering their options.
To prepare for future reopening, Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has proposed a programme of Cleanliness, Health, and Safety (CHS), referring to their pledge to ensure the cleanliness of all tourist spots, provide health checks for all visitors, and guarantee the safety of tourists and locals alike across the archipelago. Bali as the top tourist destination in the country will be the first to implement the CHS procedures, particularly in Nusa Dua area.
The first phase has commenced on July 9 and has seen limited reopenings of the following sectors: a) health; b) government office; c) customs and religion; d) finance, industry, trade, logistics, transportation, cooperatives, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), traditional markets, modern markets, restaurants and stalls; e) agriculture, plantations, marine/fisheries, and animal husbandry; and f) services and construction.
The second phase has commenced on July 31 with Indonesian tourists allowed to visit the island. The third and final phase will commence on September 11, 2020, by which time the provincial government of Bali is expected to open its borders to international and domestic tourists alike. As aforementioned, international tourists will not be able to visit Bali until at least 2021.
There, we hope you get the information you need in regard of Bali’s travel reopening. Stay safe, and see you next time!